My Puerto Rican wife says that the United States should stop celebrating Independence Day because the US is obviously still a colony of Great Britain. On the day after another devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico, it seems the American media can only stay focused on the death of a monarch in a country our ancestors fought to be liberated from. While Puerto Ricans dig out from a storm exactly 5 years from historic hurricane Maria (almost to the day), it seems the most important thing on the minds of the media is the pomp and pageantry of a British royal funeral. Really? Is this our top priority considering the Commonwealth of Puerto which continues to undoubtedly be a colonial failure of the United States?
The private electric grid alone installed by US efforts has created ongoing pain for the island and that has been ongoing before Hurricane Fiona hit. Our people in Caguas, Ponce, San Juan and across the island have had to deal with on-going power outages for months and months.
So, here is the question I pose to my fellow US citizens related to our fellow Puerto Rican citizens: do we care about Puerto Rico? And, by care, I mean the kind of caring that involves action. What can we all do, Post-Fiona, to help the island through this latest disaster?
Here are my thoughts about where to put our energies. Pay close attention to action item #3 because the answers to helping mitigate against the pain of on-going hurricanes in Puerto Rico may very well be the island’s dependence from outside power.
Hurricane Fiona Action Items:
#1 Watch media providing up to date and accurate information about what is needed in Puerto Rico and neighboring Caribbean Islands, Post-Fiona. If you are a Spanish speaker one of the most reliable sources from the island comes from Puerto Rico’s first female meteorologist, Ada Monzón.
#2 Understand how to impact long-term conservation by protecting Puerto Rico’s delicate biodiversity and get involved with organizations like the University of Puerto Rico’s Sea Grant Program. Cycles can be broken but we have to be intentional about making that happen.
#3 In the immediate, support organizations like Casa Pueblo. A text from President and Director Arturo Massol-Deyá reads:
“We are fine, rain and wind still impacting but way less intense. Damages are mostly due to flooding, too much water… if people want to help PayPal will be the most secure form (firstname.lastname@example.org) or checks to Casa Pueblo PO Box 704 Adjuntas PR 00601.
Written by Craig Martin, The Good Road Co-Host and Producer